British TV's greatest heroes

Alex
2 Sep • 4 min read

Every compelling story needs a hero. But as the saying goes, not all heroes wear capes, they come in all shapes, sizes and guises. Some with a pint in their hand, some with a stethoscope around their neck, some even flirt with the dark side from time to time. At their core though, these TV heroes have good intentions at the root of everything they do.

Needless to say, we can’t speak about our TV heroes without mentioning their villainous counterparts - that’s for another time though. We’re kicking off this double-header by celebrating the good guys. So, here are our picks of the bunch and the good news is: all of these unsung do-gooders are available on Manhattan TV!

Ted Hastings - Line of Duty

This feels like the natural place to kick things off. The archetypal “good guy”, Superintendent Ted Hastings is the pillar of morality, as he leads his anti-corruption unit against a growing tide of deception and wrongdoing in the police force. Hastings’ mettle is tested time and time again, making his unwavering integrity all the more impressive.

Despite getting himself into a few sticky situations, Hastings keeps his head afloat just about enough to lead AC-12 to cracking the case. If you’ve missed a single beat, don’t worry, you can catch every episode of BBC iPlayer.

DCI Jack Meadows - The Bill

The cops and robbers theme continues as we head over to Sun Hill to pay homage to one of The Bill’s undoubted stalwarts, DCI Jack Meadows. The Sun Hill mainstay epitomised a firm but fair approach and although he did succumb to a misguided workplace romance, Meadows’ reputation remains firmly intact.

From cracking murder cases, to dealing with the aftermath of an explosion in the station, Meadows saw it all. And as Sun Hill shut its doors for a final time in 2010, it was fitting that the now Superintendent was there to close the final chapter. For a trip down memory lane, fans can catch archived episodes every weekday on Drama.

Charlie Fairhead - Casualty / Holby City

From handcuffs to scrubs, we swap one fictional area for another. Holby, the home of two iconic hospitals, and one iconic lynchpin. Charlie Fairhead. He remains the only character to appear in the first show that’s still active now. When you think of Casualty - you think of Charlie. Let’s not forget either that he has had his fair share of drama himself! The fan-favourite had previously been shot in the chest. Luckily, the bullet missed his heart but unfortunately he's no stranger to heartbreak

Charming, affable and frankly indispensable, just where would Casualty be without our favourite nurse? T3-R customers, don’t forget you can catch up on all the action over on BBC iPlayer.

Mick Carter - Eastenders

Who would have thought the quintessential east-end geezer himself, Danny Dyer would end up being a beacon of love and sensitivity on Albert Square? When Mick Carter swanned through the Queen Vic doors back in 2013, we all expected bar fights, backhanded deals and an unflinching hardman persona.

What we got instead was a man at the head of a family that had to deal with themes of sexuality, mental health, and sexual assault. Each handled with a care and delicacy that have often left viewers teary-eyed. We love Mick! And if you love him too, you can find him over on BBC One.

Irene Roberts - Home and Away

Who doesn’t love a redemption story? Despite entering Summer Bay as a villainous alcoholic, Irene’s trajectory has seen her fully reform her character. As well as being the show’s longest serving character, Irene’s legacy has seen her take in various waifs and strays under her wing over the years.

Flawed? Maybe, but Irene Robert’s represents a matriarch that many of us have in our own families and above all - she’s a total living legend. We don’t need to tell you, but you can watch Irene and all the other Summer Bay residents over on Channel 5.

Which over TV heroes have captured your hearts over the years? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter, or if you have more to say, email us - we'd love to hear from you!